sports recap

Track and field

The Huskers track and field team competed in two meets on Friday and Saturday at the Spire Pre-Big Ten Invitational in Geneva, Ohio and the Hawkeye Big Ten Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.

Across the two days, six individual titles were snatched, five from the Hawkeye Invitational and one from the Spire Invitational.

On Friday, freshman Monica Aldrighetti was the individual champion in pole vaulting with a personal-best vault of 13-feet, 9 1/4 inches (4.20 meters). This is Aldrighetti’s third individual title of the season, and her mark is tied for fourth in school history indoors.

The next title came in the women’s long jump where freshman Lishanna Ilves won with a mark of 20-feet, 5 1/4 inches (6.23 meters). Behind her was senior Ieva Turke in second with a jump of 19-feet, 10 1/4 inches (6.05 meters), while sophomore Darby Thomas was third with a leap of 19-feet, 6 inches (5.94 meters).

Sophomore Lincoln McPhillips wrapped up the day with the men’s high jump title clearing a personal-best height of 6-feet, 9 3/4 inches (2.08 meters). Behind McPhillips were juniors Michael Hoffer and Mayson Conner who both cleared 6-feet, 8 inches (2.03 meters).

On Saturday, junior George Kusche continued his dominating run of form with another individual title in the mile race at the Spire Invitational. Kusche’s winning time of 3:57.74 set a new school record time for a 300-meter oversized indoor track. This was also Kusche’s third-career sub-four-minute mile with his previous best being 3:57.93. 

Along with Kusche’s record-breaking performance, junior Burger Lambrechts Jr. claimed the men’s shot put title at the Hawkeye Invite with a throw of 64-feet, 4 inches (19.61 meters), his best of the season so far.

The Husker women also continued their positive momentum in the horizontal jumps at Iowa. Turke jumped 41-feet, 11 1/4 inches (12.78 meters) to lead four Huskers in the top seven. Sophomore Ashley McElmurry was the runner-up at 40-feet, 1 1/2 inches (12.23 meters), an indoor personal best.

The team’s next meet will be the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio from Feb. 25 - Feb. 27. 

Men’s gymnastics

Nebraska men’s gymnastics earned a win in its home opener on Saturday, taking down Minnesota 407.700-397.800. 

Freshman Taylor Christopulos shined, setting the highest score on vault in the country so far this season. He also earned a second individual title in rings. 

The Huskers won every event except for parallel bars, starting with floor in rotation one. Five of the team’s six routines finished with a score above 14, led by senior Jake Bonnay’s 14.50. Christopulos and sophomore Sam Phillips both set career-highs with scores of 14.30 and 14.40, respectively. Nebraska held a 71.400-65.700 going into the second rotation after the Golden Gophers started on pommel horse. 

At the end of the third rotation, Minnesota had narrowed the deficit to 204.050-202.600 after having a season-best score of 71.300 on vault. However, two events later, that margin was back up to 340.900-331.800, with the help of a 71.500 score on vault from the Huskers. On vault, junior Charlie Giles earned the second-highest score of the meet with a 14.750.

The Huskers closed on high bars, where they retained their lead with a score of 66.80. The Golden Gophers earned their only event title on the parallel bars in the final rotation, scoring 66.000.

Nebraska’s next event will be a tri-meet on Feb. 21 against Illinois and Michigan. The Huskers’ meet against Michigan was previously scheduled for Jan. 24, but was postponed due to COVID-19. 

Rifle

The No. 6 Husker rifle team fell to No. 10 Army on Saturday, losing 4,869-4,677. 

The Huskers are now 4-3, with their other two losses on the season coming to No. 2 Kentucky and No. 3 Ole Miss.

The highlight for Nebraska came in air rifle, where junior Elena Flake finished first to win the event title and freshman Cecilia Ossi finished second. Army had the next four top scorers, but the Huskers still got the event win, 2,363-2,356. 

The Black Knights won by a larger margin in smallbore to take the overall victory. Army took the top three scoring spots and four of the top five, led by senior Clayton Hanson. Nebraska lost the event 2,333-2,314. Senior Emily Cheramie was the top Husker scorer in smallbore, notching a 581. 

The performance was especially disappointing for Nebraska considering the team had scored over 4,690 in each of its last three matches.

Next, Nebraska will take part in the NCAA Qualifiers in Murray, Kentucky, on Feb. 21. 

Women’s tennis

Nebraska women’s tennis split a pair of matches this weekend, losing 3-4 to Northwestern and winning 5-2 against Illinois. 

The Huskers dropped the doubles point on Friday against the eighth-ranked Wildcats, losing at No. 1 and No. 3. Their win came at the No. 2 slot, as sophomore Isabel Adrover Gallego and senior Claire Reifeis took down Northwestern junior Clarissa Hand and sophomore Briana Crowley 6-3. 

Nebraska rallied in singles play after going down 3-1 in the match, but Adrover Gallego couldn’t finish off the comeback, losing to Hand in three sets. 

On Sunday against Illinois, Nebraska took the doubles point. Reifeis and Adrover Gallego earned a 6-2 win, while senior Hayley Haakenstad and sophomore Kristina Novak won their match 6-0. 

Although Illinois came back to tie the match at 2-2 during singles play, Adrover Gallego clinched the team win with a victory 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 to give the Huskers a 4-2 lead. 

Men’s tennis

Nebraska men’s tennis had a disappointing showing this weekend, losing all matches at the Northwestern Invite over two days. 

The other two teams at the event were Northwestern and No. 4 Michigan. In total, the Huskers went 0-13 in singles matches and 0-5 in doubles. 

On the first day, junior William Gleason came closest to a win in singles play against Wildcat junior Simen Bratholm, with the match going to a third set. However, Gleason still couldn’t come up with a victory (6-3, 6-7, 6-1). 

On Sunday, sophomore Shunya Maruyama also pushed Bratholm to a third set, but lost in the end (4-6, 6-1, 6-4). Freshman Nic Wiedenhorn won his first set against Northwestern junior Trice Pickens, but dropped the next two (6-7, 6-1, 6-1).

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